With EURO 2016 finalizing on Sunday, we witnessed Portugal shock everyone by beating heavy favorites France, lift their first ever major tournament and became the 10th different country to win the EURO’s. The match was filled with up’s and down’s like Cristiano Ronaldo coming off due to injury and seeing his passion for soccer when tears were raining down his face but those tears turned into joy when unlikely hero Eder scoring the game-winning goal in extra-time.
Now that the tournament is over, it is time to look back and find out who were the winners and losers of the EURO’s. Bare in mind that we will only be looking at players and not national teams so no making fun of England by losing to Iceland.
Coming into the tournament, we didn’t think much of Wales and couldn’t see them going far into the tournament but we were completely wrong as they made it all the way to the semi-finals. This was due to the likes of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Hal Robson-Kanu and Ashley Williams but people tend to forget about the Welsh Andrea Pirlo, Joe Allen. The Liverpool man is not afraid to do the dirty work and did seem to do anything for his country. Allen was playing the deepest out of the three midfielders in Coleman’s 5-3-2 formation and let Ramsey and Ledley push up to link up play between the forwards.
Allen managed to create 5 chances even though playing deep in the midfield. Despite only being 5’6, Allen saw him win a surprising 40% and completing 85% of his passes. Allen played great on that defensive role and saw him make 0 defensive errors, according to Squawka.
After a great tournament Allen should look for a move that would see him leave Anfield with Jurgen Klopp looking to offload him for Mahmoud Dahoud and Piotr Zielinski. Klopp has even put a $15 million price tag. The Welshman has seen interest from Europa League winners Sevilla and former club Swansea City. Whatever Joe Allen does next, he will be known as a big winner of the Euro 2016 tournament. .
Let us go back in time to the 2013-2014 where Aaron Ramsey was blowing up the Premier League with Arsenal by being a lethal finisher. Ramsey tends to have these types of runs almost every season and it always ends in the same result, with him being out of action for a while and returning out of form.
In EURO 2016 we saw the old, vintage Aaron Ramsey where he blew up with strong performances and Arsene Wenger must be happy at the moment. During the tournament, Rambo won man of the match twice, winning 42% of his aerial duels, had a 83% shot accuracy and 82% passing accuracy, according to Squawka. The Welshman came in 4th in the EURO’s in chances created with 15 just behind Eden Hazard, Mesut Ozil, Dimitri Payet and Kevin De Bruyne. Ramsey managed to score a goal and assisted 4 times, tied for the most assists with Eden Hazard.
The Portuguese man was the biggest winner in my eyes not only because he won EURO 2016 but made a name for himself during the tournament. He was the most impressive player and made me enjoy watching Portugal despite rarely winning and playing an unattractive style of play. His performances made him stand out in that Portuguese team and was one of the most consistent players in the tournament. While watching him play you can see the potential Guerreiro has by rarely being taken by the attacker, great going forward and enticing crosses.
The left back capable of playing as a left midfielder, created 8 chances with 1 assist and having 7 key passes. According to Squawka, he had 85% passing accuracy, won 54% of his aerial duels and averaged 6 defensive actions per match. The 22-year-old made an impressive 2.4 tackles and clearances, made 2.8 interceptions per game and recovered 38 balls throughout the tournament. Guerreiro was in the top 5 in tackles+interceptions with 26.
In this situation Raphael Guerreiro weren’t the only winners in this situation but it was also German club Borussia Dortmund. Dortmund saw the potential in Guerreiro and managed to snatch him up shortly after Portugal’s 1-1 draw against Iceland. The German side paid a reportedly $13 million and most likely will play at left back and have competition for current left back Marcel Schmeltzer. Raphael Guerreiro looks like a young promising talent and hopefully we see him succeed at Dortmund. If he plays like he did in the EURO’s we’ll be in for a treat.
Now it is time for the losers of EURO 2016, these are the players who seemed to under-perform, not live up to the hype or choked on the big stage. In the tournament there have been more winners than losers but we’ll only talk about 3 players.
Alaba is clearly the best player on the Austrian team and everyone thought he was the key man to Austria’s success and would take them as far as he would but that was not the case this time. Manager Marcel Koller played him as a central defensive midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 partnering with Baumgartlinger with Alaba being the more offensive defensive mid helping out the wingers and striker. The Bayern Munich man did not look comfortable in Koller’s system although thriving during qualification but when it was time to perform he was non-existent.
He surprisingly managed only 2 tackles and Frenchman Antoine Griezmann made more tackles than the Austrian in the tournament. He only made 1 clearance during the tournament. His Austrian side didn’t even manage to get out of their group which was arguably the easiest that included the likes of Portugal, Iceland and Hungary where they finished dead last. This is a tournament he’ll like to forget for the Bayern Munich star.
EURO 2016 was a complete and utter disappointment for England but it is typical England as it happens practically in every major tournament. It is always England who have a promising team that can go far in the tournament but tend to choke and this EURO was no exception. I expected England possibly going to the semi-finals but lose in the Round-of-16 to Iceland, yes to Iceland with a population of 323,000 and made its first ever appearance at a major tournament. It ranks high as one of the worst loses in England football history.
Everyone on the squad should be considered a loser but I decided to give it to the shot stopper Joe Hart. Squawka gave him a performance score of -1 and anyone who has a negative score must have had a bad tournament. He conceded an average of 1 goal per match and made only 1.75 saves, according to Squawka. Those are decent numbers for a goalkeeper but not for a “world-class” goalie Hart thinks he is. The Manchester City first choice looks terrible and every shot on target had a chance to find the back of the net. He scuffed the Gareth Bale free-kick and could have done better against Iceland that saw them get eliminated. Hart only managed to make 1 save and that is never okay for any keeper. No wonder manager Pep Guardiola is thinking about bringing Marc-Andre Ter Stegen to possibly take over as City’s #1. Time will tell if Hart can recover from this horrible EURO 2016 performance and reclaim his spot at Man City and England.
The German superstar lives for the big moments at club and country whether it is in the Champions League, Bundesliga, World Cup/EURO Qualifiers and World Cup unless it’s the actual EURO’s. At every club competition Muller thrives and is the reason his side go far every time. In just 2 World Cups Muller has already managed to score an impressive 10 goals at the age of 26. In contrast with the EURO’s where the German has scored 0 goals, a shock for everyone but he doesn’t care about it too much well because he is Thomas Muller. It could be because Joachim Low decided to play him as a right midfielder instead of more of a centre-forward or striker. But Julian Draxler played out on the left and managed to score a goal despite barely playing so we should expect more from Muller. When Mario Gomez was out due to injury, Low slotted Muller as that striker but didn’t create as much as usual.
According to Squawka, he was voted worst man of the match twice and worst attacker once. Alongside a disappointing 35% shot accuracy, 1 assist, committed fouls 60% of the time, 45% headed duel success and a performance score of 28. The 26-year-old made only 1.7 key passes, 2.8 bad control per game and was dispossessed 1.7 times per match, according to WhoScored.
This was not a memorable tournament for Mr.Thomas Muller in comparison to previous World Cup performances but that shouldn’t phase the German who is inching closer to fellow countryman’s record for most goals in the World Cup.
In conclusion, these were just some of my winners and losers of EURO 2016 but let me know who were your winners and losers of the tournament. What did you think of the tournament? What were your favorite moments?
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